Don’t Be a Kept Man
Xiao Feng Wu’s background was most likely the greatest mystery in the Xiao family.
The entire estate had never seen his mother, only knowing that she was a woman who was not fated for a long life, and her background was not high enough, as otherwise why would she not even have a nameplate on the altar in the ancestral halls?
Even if it was Xiao Feng Wu himself, he had never spoken a single word about her.
For him to say these words today, in Qin Ming Yue’s eyes, he was poking at his own wounds.
Qin Ming Yue’s lips straightened out and trembled, yet he was unable to soften up and say a single word.
Xiao Feng Wu was someone who was sensitive to emotions, and also one who was willing to bend and stretch however the situation needed, as otherwise how could he be the most pampered out of all 16 of his siblings.
Seeing Qin Ming Yue like this, he quickly jumped onto the chance provided by his softening attitude.
He smiled and tugged at Qin Ming Yue’s hand, presenting a way for him to step down without a blow to his pride,
“If you are not happy, then I will never say these types of words again.
Why make your life more miserable by being angry at me over this? If you are still angry, how about you slap me a few times to ease your anger?”
And then, without hesitation, moved Qin Ming Yue’s hand over to give a greeting to his cheeks.
Qin Ming Yue stuttered in panic, almost falling off from his chair.
He quickly pulled his hand back, forcing Xiao Feng Wu to freeze in midair.
Xiao Feng Wu raised his eyebrows up and wagged his finger, looking at him and asking,
“Not angry anymore?”
Seeing that he was still smiling, Qin Ming Yue’s breath froze, a feeling of pain suddenly crossing over him for no reason.
He thought to himself, what a drastic difference it must be compared to before, with Xiao Feng Wu falling to the ground from his high perch; everyone, anyone could stomp on him, and even if he didn’t mind it on the surface, who could see how much he was suffering internally.
Seeing that Chen Gong-zi today, a misunderstanding had already been formed, so why force suffering on the both of them by being angry at him?
He felt a tight grip on his waist and the faint scent of agarwood wafted from behind him.
Qin Ming Yue paused in surprise, but he didn’t struggle.
There was a huge battle waging on internally, but outwardly, he let the other do as he wished.
Xiao Feng Wu stuck close to Qin Ming Yue’s ear, his voice indiscernible as playful or serious,
“Ming Yue’s temper has changed so much from the past, I almost couldn’t recognize you.”
Hearing this, Qin Ming Yue thought of something and his face immediately flashed with a darkened expression.
His voice became piercing and tense,
“These few years, you had been living a wealthy lifestyle, without a need to change one bit, so what do you know about what kind of days I’ve lived through?”
He was, after all, still unable to swallow down everything that happened to him.
His chest heaved unevenly and each word seemed to be dripping in blood, full of unspoken pain.
“I was kicked out of the Xiao family with nothing left in my hands.
Through the wintery months I had almost been frozen to death.
Carrying my body that was entrenched in a heavy illness, I roamed around on the streets.
My throat was ruined for a long time, so much so that I could not earn any money at all by singing.
“Less than a beggar, eating the scraps thrown away from other’s meals to even hold a living breath.
When I entered the troupe later on, the actors and actresses before me would have liked nothing more than to destroy each other to the death.
If I was like before, so weak and feeble that I could be harmed by anyone, I would not even be here today with my corpse still intact!”
Both of Qin Ming Yue’s eyes were reddened, and he held onto his own chest as he said,
“You see my glory on stage yet have you seen how much I suffered behind the scenes to come to this day?”
Perhaps it was too shocking that in the midst of his senses being lost, Xiao Feng Wu straightened his back,
“My……grandfather, when he let you go, had he not given you any money?”
Qin Ming Yue slightly narrowed his eyes, his expression freezing cold as he chuckled,
“If he had spared me any money then how would I have gotten to this state? I should really thank him as at least he let me wear my clothing so as to not have frozen to death!”
And then he stood up, angrily flipping his sleeves in a hateful manner,
“I don’t care about whatever money he gives.
Did I not still survive to this day just by depending on myself?”
Xiao Feng Wu didn’t say another word.
He lowered his eyes, his left hand making a fist.
He lightly hit his own leg, over and over, with an expression that was impossible for anyone to decipher what he was thinking about.
After a long while, he walked slowly behind Qin Ming Yue’s back.
Only calling out his name and nothing more.
Qin Ming Yue supported himself with the door, the sight of his hand with the shortened finger as bright as day.
The sight was an undeniable ugliness which made those who see it feel pity.
Like a perfectly formed vase with a crack.
He took in a deep breath, powerlessly closing his eyes.
Speaking with a heavy tone, he said,
“Although I am only an actor, I am not one who cannot let bygones be bygones.
Since it is ancient history by now, there is not a need to mention it again.”
Hearing this, there was an unknown expression in Xiao Feng Wu’s eyes.
His hands held onto his elbows as he very seriously looked over at Qin Ming Yue.
Warming up his voice,
“Your personality……I, Xiao Feng Wu, am truly in great admiration of.”
After that, he pulled at Qin Ming Yue’s hands and gently massaged them.
Then he brought them to his lips, dropping a faint, gentle kiss on the broken finger.
When he sensed that the other wanted to pull his hand back, his tongue swirled, holding the broken finger in his mouth with a slight pressure.
It was undoubtedly a flirtatious gesture, yet there was a feeling of appeasing him, of comfort.
Qin Ming Yue’s pupils dilated slightly,
The pair of eyes on Xiao Feng Wu were more beautiful than those of any female’s.
Hearing this, he lifted his eyes, slightly raising his eyebrow,
He let go of Qin Ming Yue’s pinky, holding onto his wrist and with a slight bit of force, pulled him into his embrace.
Seeing the other’s slightly frantic face, he spoke with a tone that was like a truth yet also a lie,
“Ming Yue, when Sixteenth Master sees your injury, it really causes him to feel a great pain……”
The two of them were hugging each other by the door when suddenly a few knocks came from the door.
Qin Ming Yue immediately reacted as if he had been electrically shocked and pushed away from Xiao Feng Wu’s embrace, the latter of whom was indifferent in contrast.
Outside the door, the muffled and unclear voice of the old servant rang out,
“Xian-Sheng1, dinner is ready.”
Today, the sun was shining brightly, so much so that the leaves of the crabapple tree in the middle of the courtyard were yellowing and decaying, and the cobblestone bricks on the floor were boiling hot.
Sitting by the dinner table, Xiao Feng Wu used his chopsticks to poke at the rice in his bowl.
There was a blue ball of light beside his hands, and no matter how much he tried brushing it off, it would not leave, making his appetite next to nil.
[ Dear, it is currently 2 in the afternoon here, leaving less than ten hours until the deadline to return your debts.
We advise you to become self-sufficient and self-reliant soon, as to delay past the deadline will result in an electric shock punishment.
Please take it seriously ]
Blah blah blah blah an entire speech, none of the words of which Xiao Feng Wu understood a single bit.
Of course, even if he did, he may not have cared about it.
Instead, he was more interested in this little ball of light, wondering what kind of monster it was.
Its entire body was round and emitting this blue light, yet it was able to speak human words.
No history books have recorded this.
How much could it be sold off for……
Xiao Feng Wu casually lifted his eyes, and seeing that Qin Ming Yue’s expression was unchanged, he knew then that only he could see this ball of light.
He set aside his intentions and continued to eat his food.
There has always been an old adage that could be applied to situations like these: If you head out in the world, you will still need to pay what you owe; if you follow the path for evil, you will receive your due punishment one day or another.
What he ate today, sooner or later, he will have to pay.
The monk can run away, but the temple will not run with him; you can run away for now, but you cannot run away forever.2
Xiao Feng Wu had slept in this room last night so naturally tonight he will also be sleeping in this room.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, Qin Ming Yue gave him a look and unhappily declared his territory,
“This is my room.”
There was a lantern lit up in the room, and after Xiao Feng Wu washed up, dressed in a loose set of robes, he said with a gentle expression on his face,
Together is fine.”
Qin Ming Yue raised his eyebrow,
“You can but I cannot.”
Xiao Feng Wu couldn’t help but chuckle.
With a charismatic and magnetic voice, he leaned over, trapping Qin Ming Yue in the middle with his clothing fallen off on one side.
Truly, a man with bedazzling and mesmerizing handsome looks,
“Sixteenth Mister has nothing but you on his mind, thinking of only you to fill my thoughts.
Truly, really, you cannot?”
He has always liked the scent of agarwood, so much so that his clothing had to be soaked in it as well.
Day in and day out, the scent surrounded him, seeping into his flesh so even if he was not wearing any perfume, there was a faint scent of it about him, a scent that smelled so very good.
Qin Ming Yue reached out to hold onto his clothes, squinting his eyes at him for a while when he suddenly flipped over to trap Xiao Feng Wu below him.
He coldly snorted,
“It is not the days of the past anymore.
What if I want to be on top? Will Sixteenth Master be willing or not willing then?”
Hearing his childish words, Xiao Feng Wu laughed even louder.
He lay back on the bed, pillowing his head with his two hands and tilted his head to say with a smile on his voice,
“If Qin Lao-ban can, then I naturally would be willing a thousand, no, a million times over.
But I’m afraid you don’t have what it takes.”
Qin Ming Yue couldn’t handle the stimulation and immediately let his anger out by biting hard onto his shoulder.
Xiao Feng Wu lifted his chin, wrapping the other up in his embrace and smiled, pointing at him,
“Qin Lao-ban, you bit the wrong place.”
The half transparent curtain was ripped away but no matter how much noise he made, the old servant in the room beside them probably wouldn’t be able to hear a sound.
With his hands cushioning the back of his head, Xiao Feng Wu lay beneath him, still as casual as ever.
With his face that could stir up a generation, such high class and elegance, his mouth uttered such perverted words,
“So many years we have not seen each other but Qin Ming Yue is still as bold as ever.
No matter, come, this man can handle it all.”
Sitting on top of his waist, Qin Ming Yue didn’t move for a while.
Instead the hand holding himself up on Xiao Feng Wu’s chest was trembling, as he inhaled multiple breaths, his legs shaking.
Yet he could neither advance nor retract and finally hatefully rolled away, rolling himself into a sausage with the sheets, not exposing his face at all.
With a slight bit of power, Xiao Feng Wu pulled open a crack in the sheets and then rolled himself in.
He pulled away the hands covering Qin Ming Yue’s face and then smiled, almost about to suffocate from the laughter he was holding in,
“Qin……does Qin Lao-ban still want to be on top?”
Qin Ming Yue kicked him,
“Stop speaking such useless words, you do it!”
Xiao Feng Wu pressed onto him, using his hands to touch a certain place in the darkness and flicked his finger.
Smiling wickedly, he said,
“Qin Lao-ban is really vicious.
Blood is already flowing so much.
With it so pumped like this, I’m afraid you won’t be able to be on top.”
Embarrassed but in a rush, Qin Ming Yue kicked his blankets, almost crying which made him even more embarrassed.
Xiao Feng Wu lifted up half of the curtain, smiling as he appeased him,
“Ming Yue, look outside towards the window.
It’s a full moon tonight.”
Hearing this, Qin Ming Yue subconsciously looked over, yet his eyes were suddenly unabashedly covered up, leaving only darkness as the only sight.
His senses were immediately enhanced and he was stimulated to the point where his eyes were all red.
Holding onto Xiao Feng Wu’s wrists, Qin Ming Yue moved upwards to search for the other’s lips and then viciously chomped down as he kissed.
Xiao Feng Wu tried pushing him away to no avail.
Xiao Feng Wu sighed,
“You’ve grown up now.
Not the shy you from before anymore.”
The legs of Qin Ming Yue snaked around Xiao Feng Wu’s waist, as he sighed and hooked up his lips mockingly,
“I had never done anything before, only urging you to study to get better everyday and I was cursed as a seductive vixen up to no good.
If I really did try to seduce you, they would have torn me apart!”
He lowered his head and bit down on Qin Ming Yue’s earlobe, kissing and then licking,
“If you are a vixen, you must be the best vixen in the whole wide world.
Urging and encouraging me to study everyday, to better myself, this kind of good vixen, where would I go to find one?”
Xiao Feng Wu did not like to study and the teacher would always be running around in circles in a rage at him.
He had a mischievous personality, not listening to anyone except Qin Ming Yue, who was also the only one who dared to pacify and encourage him.
Thinking back on their shared history, Qin Ming Yue’s heart still aches.
Underneath his hands, Xiao Feng Wu could feel that there were some tear droplets and he quickened his speed with a muffled grunt and Qin Ming Yue followed along his movements, trembling.
Xiao Feng Wu said,
“Ming Yue, lift your eyes and see.”
He uncovered Qin Ming Yue’s eyes.
Outside of the delicately carved wooden window, a pure round moon was hanging in the complete darkness of the sky.
Faint cold moonlight was shining in, highlighting the cotton carpet on the floor.
The candle in the lantern had just extinguished itself, dripping red tears and emitting a faint smoke.
Qin Ming Yue took in the sight, shocked at what he saw.
Xiao Feng Wu held onto a strand of his hair, flirtatiously saying,
“The moon in the sky is hanging by the crabapple tree.
The moon of the humans is in my embrace.”
Qin Ming Yue didn’t speak.
His name was beautiful, Ming Yue – Clear Moon, but in the end it belonged to an actor of a lower caste, of the lowest of the low, so how could it really compare to the real moon.
He only used his legs to hook around Xiao Feng Wu and slowly circled them in motion, as if only this could comfort his heart a bit.
The night was darkening, and Xiao Feng Wu was about to fall asleep when there was a sudden flash of blue light.
Wrinkling his eyebrows, he opened his eyes and saw a ball of blue light on top of him.
There was no face on it but he could feel that it was glaring at him, in a very serious manner.
The system reminded him: [ My dear host, time to repay your debts.
Did it have a problem?
Xiao Feng Wu lazily held up his head with his elbow propped up, thinking, and what are you going to do if I don’t?
[ My dear, if you do not pay back what you owe by the deadline, it will be seen as the actions of a kept man, violating this galaxy’s strongest self-sufficient, self-reliant system’s rules of actions and an electrical shock punishment will be emitted ]
What electrical shock? Thunder?
Xiao Feng Wu didn’t put it to heart one way or another,
“Shock if you will.
After you do, scamper out of my sight.”
Every host was always never accommodating, but afterwards, they would always be obedient and never toe the line.
This electrical shock punishment was a very useful tool indeed.
The system didn’t say another word.
[ Zzzt– ]
[ Zzzt– ]
[ Zzzt– ]
[ Zzzt– ]
Xiao Feng Wu only felt his entire body fry up in pulses.
Painful and numbing.
He gritted his teeth out of sheer will, trying to bear through it.
He even had the ability to give a smile and with a dark tone in his voice,
The system increased the strength of the electric shocks.
[ Zzzt zzzt zzzt zzzt —- ]
Xiao Feng Wu thought the electrical shocks were only a one time thing, never expecting that it could be continuous.
He tested his pulse and found that it was pulsing ultra fast.
His organs were stuttering and beginning to fail.
His brain was throbbing in pain, swelling up.
If it continued, he was going to breathe his last breath and he immediately called stop with a very pale face.
With a face full of cold sweat, Xiao Feng Wu rose up with great difficulty.
He stared at the system with a bit of fear in his eyes,
“What kind of monster are you?”
Out of seemingly purposefully mischievous meanings, the system’s voice turned dark and ghostly, as like like a hanging ghost from the folktales:3
[ Return the money…… ]
Xiao Feng Wu grabbed onto his own wrist, slightly shaking his head and narrowing his eyes to say,
“Unfortunately, this man does not have any money.”
A flash of electricity flashed through the ball of light.
[ Then only…… ]
Xiao Feng Wu: “I will pay it back.”
Grabbing his under robes, Xiao Feng Wu left the bed to find his outer robe and found a transparent jade pendant inside.
It had always been hanging on his fan, smaller than half his thumb, so it should have some value.
Seeing that ball of light floating in midair still staring at him, he reached over to shake Qin Ming Yue awake.
But without even touching him, the other seemed to have sensed something and opened his eyes.
Qin Ming Yue stared at him, saying in a very terrible tone,
“What do you want?”
What could he do but return the money for his meals?
Xiao Feng Wu said,
“I have nothing on my body and these few days, I have received great care under you.
This jade pendant should still be of some worth.
Use it as my fee for the shelter, food and medicine.”
Hearing this, Qin Ming Yue held onto his stomach and rose up with an emotionless face.
He coldly laughed,
“What, is this the Sixteenth Master wanting to draw a line between you and me?”
Xiao Feng Wu thought that this ball of light was extremely detestable.
He had just been able to appease the other’s anger and now it has all gone to waste.
“Draw a line, draw what line?”
Xiao Feng Wu tugged at his sleeves and threw a sideways glance at him,
“You and me, is that something a mere jade pendant could wipe our relationship clean with?”
Qin Ming Yue’s face slightly warmed back up but he still stared at him with eyes that were not so kind,
“Then what were those words you spoke to me about?”
Xiao Feng Wu wrapped him up in his embrace, lightly and gently saying,
“Although the me right now is at the bottom of the pits, I am still a man in the end.
Only after hearing your words today did I realize how hard you had it, so how could I bear to keep spending your money? Listen to me, take this pendant and my heart will feel a bit better.”
Leaning in his embrace, Qin Ming Yue thought that since Xiao Feng Wu was born to a wealthy family, he had that prideful air about him and couldn’t accept others’ help.
After hesitating a bit, he took that jade pendant from his palm and furrowed his eyebrows to say,
“This is fine now right?”
Seeing that ball of blue light disappear before his eyes, he internally gave a sigh of relief.
Xiao Feng Wu then nodded his head and said,
He retracted his gaze, and when he spotted Qin Ming Yue holding onto his stomach, he asked,
“What’s wrong? Are you in pain?”
And then reached out to test his pulse, but he didn’t find anything out of the ordinary.
Qin Ming Yue’s face blushed and didn’t say anything which Xiao Feng Wu immediately understood.
He shifted towards the other’s neck to bite at his ear,
“This man’s “remnants” is still in there, hmm……”
He sat by the edge of the bed and clumsily put on his shoes.
Loosely covering himself with his outer robe to head into the kitchen, there was not a single hint of a wealthy gong-zi’s arrogance and pride as he boiled water for a bath.
Thankfully he had a lot of strength as he didn’t display any signs of difficulty when grabbing the bathtub full of water.
There was a sudden weird feeling in Qin Ming Yue’s heart, and he clutched onto the sheets gathered around his lower body, saying,
“You……how could you do such things?”
In his heart, Xiao Feng Wu was still a master, so even if his family status is no more, this man should not be doing the work of servants.
Xiao Feng Wu tested the temperature of the water and then pushed up his sleeves.
Slowly smiling at him, Xiao Feng Wu said,
“You have served me for a while so what if I serve, serve for you? For all that flustering just now, how could you be shrinking back for this? Being so bold and then to retract back at the end, that is not a very good attitude.”
Qin Ming Yue still didn’t move.
Xiao Feng Wu walked over and lifted him up to drop him in the water.
Water splashed everywhere, wetting half of their clothes and tightly sticking onto their chests,
“For the entire lifetime of this man, he will only serve you.
What, still not satisfied?”
In Qin Ming Yue’s heart, he loved Xiao Feng Wu yet he also hated him.
Turning his head to the side, he said,
“Who knows whether you’re speaking the truth or not.”
He awkwardly washed himself as Xiao Feng Wu leaned on the side of the tub to watch him, smiling yet also as if he was not.
Qin Ming Yue raised his eyes slightly, with his eyebrows provoking,
“What are you watching me for?”
Xiao Feng Wu patted his knees, trying to hold in his laughter,
“You forgot downstairs.”
Immediately Qin Ming Yue had no inkling of a smile and he sat straight up in the water.
Grabbing into Xiao Feng Wu’s lean and long finger, he silently stared at him before finally saying,
You do it.”
The corners of Xiao Feng Wu’s mouth hooked up and he said,
“What a bold thing to ask.”
And then he leaned over, his fingers slowly navigating into the deep hot waters.
Qin Ming Yue half knelt in the tub and, seeing this, wrapped his arms around the other’s neck and gently, lightly kissed him.
His lips were soft and warm and his tongue was a wicked seductress.
Grabbing onto his waist securely, Xiao Feng Wu lifted the other up from the water into his embrace,
“I only knew that Qin Lao-ban’s voice was one of a kind, but I didn’t think that this little mouth could be so sweet.”
The eyes of Qin Ming Yue were completely red, leaving not a single trace of the coldness from before.
In the midst of his consciousness flying away, he held onto Xiao Feng Wu tightly, not giving an inch and said, with his voice like broken jade, sweetened with sticky toffee,
Xiao Feng Wu pulled the bed sheets over them, lightly patting,
In the bright and early morning, faint smoke was billowing out into the skies.
With theatre as his source of income, Qin Ming Yue had to practice his vocals and body everyday.
In his dreams, Xiao Feng Wu could hear a faint sound coming from outside, as if singing but he couldn’t hear the lyrics and he covered himself with the sheets to continue to sleep.
Qin Ming Yue came in just in time for Xiao Feng Wu to have just awakened.
Seeing Xiao Feng Wu still dressing, he dusted off his sleeves and raised his eyebrows,
Xiao Feng Wu replied,
Yet his eyes were still sleepy and couldn’t be pried open, and his clothes were also in a messy state.
Qin Ming Yue walked over, gently dressing him and fixing his clothes when he found something weird.
He grabbed the clothes and stared at them more intensely before saying,
“These seem to be my clothes.”
Xiao Feng Wu lazily hummed an acknowledgement,
“Hmm, let this man borrow some so he could take in some of that etherealness of Qin Lao-ban’s.”
Qin Ming Yue swept his gaze over Xiao Feng Wu and the corners of his mouth curved up slightly.
He then helped tie a belt around the other’s waist and lowered his eyes, being in a rare state of peacefulness,
“Perhaps I have gained weight or perhaps Sixteenth Master has become thinner.
The waist fits just perfectly.”
Xiao Feng Wu wrapped his arms around the other’s waist that was so much like a willow branch,
“You have gained some and I have lost some.”
The corners of Xiao Feng Wu’s eyes hooked up, and his tiny but full eyelashes trembled slightly,
“Thinner? How did you lose weight?”
Xiao Feng Wu said,
“By thinking about you.”
Qin Ming Yue snorted through his nose, evidently in disbelief,
“If you’ve washed up, go eat breakfast.”
The food on the table was fairly light in oils and fat, as Qin Ming Yue needed to protect his throat, so not a lot of oil and not a lot of salt were used.
Holding onto his bowl of congee, Xiao Feng Wu thought, if he drank this, will he be in debt again? So he put it back down.
Seeing him like this, Qin Ming Yue paused and then asked,
“Is this not to your taste? What do you want to eat? I can have Zhong Bo make it for this afternoon.
Lotus leaf steamed shrimp or crepe wontons?”4
Lifting up his eyes at this, Xiao Feng Wu stared silently at Qin Ming Yue.
It was an investigative gaze and after a while, he smiled and said,
“So you still remember what I like.”
Qin Ming Yue said,
“I have a heart, unlike you who has none.”
Speaking of this heart or no heart, Xiao Feng Wu recalled that Chen Xiao-ye again and smiled to say,
“I naturally have no heart as it is with you.”
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